The Silent Cinema Reader is a comprehensive resource of key writings on early cinema, addressing filmmaking practice, film form, style and content, and the ways in which silent films were exhibited and understood by their audiences, from the beginnings of film in the late nineteenth century to the coming of sound in the late 1920s.
The Reader covers international developments in film aesthetics, the growth of the American film industry and its relationship with foreign competitors at home and abroad, and the broader cultural, social and political contexts of film production and consumption in the United States as well as Britain, France, Russia and Germany. The Reader includes in-depth case studies of major directors and stars of the silent era, including Cecil B. DeMille, Eisenstein, D. W. Griffith, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino.
Articles are grouped into thematic sections, each with an introduction by the editors, which focus on:
* Film projection and variety shows
* Storytelling and the nickelodeon
* Cinema and reform
* Feature films and cinema programmes
* Classical Hollywood cinema
* European national cinemas